The ATP is heating up at this time and currently in the middle of it’s annual summer tour of the United States. This all leads up to the final Grand Slam of the year, the US Open, in Flushing Meadows, New York. Generally at this time, Americans celebrate the grandiose achievement of their phenomenal players. This is the time of year where the tour gains the interest of the American public in the sport.
In the past, Americans have been spoiled by legends of the game such as John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras, and Andre Agassi. Since the retirements of Agassi and Sampras, the men have not really lived up to their normal expectations of being at the top of the ATP tour. Americans the past 5 years have predominantly “Lived on a Prayer” (Bon Jovi) that is Andy Roddick. But when the new rankings come out on Monday, there will be no American’s in the top ten. Ever since the computer rankings began in 1973, the US has always had at least one representative in the top 10, and generally multiple reps.
Well as the summer tour heats up in places like Washington D.C., LA, and Cincinnati, there is not a whole lot to celebrate. There currently are no American’s in the top 10 on the men’s tour. No American has brought home a Grand Slam since Andy Roddick won in Flushing Meadows 7 years ago. That is a gap of 27 Grand Slam tournaments. To add to no American men bringing home a Grand Slam Championship in 7 years, only 2 current Americans have ever even advanced to the semifinals of one of the prestigious majors (Roddick and Ginepri). It is a sad time.
Tennis has become more global than ever. Everything in the world is becoming more global than ever. It sort of even makes you think about the economy and how the rest of the world has been gaining ground on the United States, and some, have even passed us in many ways. It is truly amazing how the global nature of society seems to even spill over into the simple game of tennis.
Can American tennis save face this summer during their traditional tour of the United States? This is the time of year that makes or breaks the popularity of American tennis? Can America continue to “Live on the Prayer” that is Andy Roddick. Or will they have to look elsewhere?
I do know that many Cincinnatians only watch the US Open and when the players come to Cincy. Their whole perspective on the game is determined from these 2 tournaments. There is an awful lot of pressure on Roddick, Isner, and others to save American tennis for at least another year.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.